How to Release a Lien in Texas

By Teo Spengler - Updated May 31, 2017
Property lien concept on big dollar background

A lien on real property in Texas is evidence of a debt, and payment of that debt extinguishes, or releases, the lien. When the underlying debt is paid, the lien holder prepares, signs and certifies a written release that is recorded with the county clerk in the county where the property is located.

Texas Property Liens

A Texas property lien is a legal document that is filed with the county property records office. It notifies the public that the property owner owes a debt to a creditor. It is recorded in the county where the property is located.

The property lien protects the creditor, since the property owner cannot sell the property without paying off the lien. It gives notice to the entire world that the creditor has a security interest in the property. Liens on real estate are a common way for creditors to collect debts they are owed in Texas.

Texas Release of Lien Form

Every lien against a piece of property reflects a debt the property owner owes the creditor, known as the lien holder. But when the property owner pays off the underlying debt, the lien is legally extinguished. At that point, the lien holder has a legal duty to prepare, sign and notarize a written release as evidence of the discharge of the lien.

Once the property owner receives this release, she should record it immediately in the county clerk’s public records for real property. If the release is not recorded, anyone, including title companies, searching the public records will believe the property still has a lien against it. Just like the lien itself, a Texas lien release must be filed in the county in which the property is located.

If the lien holder does not fulfill this duty to release the lien, the property owner should remind them in writing and urge them to act quickly. If the lien holder continues to stall, the property owner can prepare a Texas release of lien form for the lien holder's signature.

To find a Texas release of lien form, locate the address and phone number of the county clerk's office from the internet, then stop by to ask for a copy of their Texas release of lien form.

Or find Texas release of lien forms online. The Deeds.com website offers the forms for a fee and they make it very easy. Go to the website, search Texas release of lien forms. Since the specifics vary from county to county, pull down the appropriate county from the search engine menu. You will find a release of lien form for that county, a guide for filling in the form, a completed example of the filled-in release form and notary certificates. The blank forms are guaranteed to meet the county's formatting requirements, such as margin requirements, content requirements and font and requirements.

About the Author

Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.

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